Abu Dhabi's Yas Marina circuit will continue hosting Formula One until 2030 as it's contract has been extended confirmed senior officials at Formula One on Thursday. Yas Marina has been a staple of Formula One's calendar since its debut in 2009 and has hosted several thrilling finales including Sebastian Vettel's win in 2012 and Nico Rosberg's in 2016.
Changes have been made to the famous circuit ahead of the title-clinching race on Sunday which will see 7-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton battle it out against Max Verstappen for a record-breaking 8th title. If Verstappen wins, it will be his maiden World Championship.
Turn 5 - 6 has been removed from the track while the hairpin in the section has been opened up and brought forward. Turn 11-14 has also been modified into a 180 degree banked sweeper while several corners around the W Hotel complex have been opened up and extra runoff area added to provide drivers with more momentum as they careen around.
These alterations have reduced the lap distance by 273 metres, with Pirelli's simulation suggesting that lap times will be up to 14 seconds quicker. The changes will also help prevent excessive tyre wear and overheating.
The overall changes were made in order to maximise overtaking potential as well as to upgrade the circuit to make racing flow better and allow drivers to follow each other better said Mark Hughes, managing director of MRK1, which managed the circuit modification.
"I'm looking forward to the finale in Abu Dhabi as they have modified the track there, which I'm really pleased about as I think it will present a new challenge to the drivers," Ross Brawn, Formula One's managing director of motorsport, told F1.com this week.
Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes is a fan favourite to win his 8th World Championship this week, breaking Michael Schumacher's record of 7. He is currently tied with Red Bull's Max Verstappen at 369.5 points.